Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

People, Places and Events


Robbers in military uniform

The Defence Ministry has expressed concern at the rate at which thieves and armed robbers are masquerading as military personnel. The Ministry attributed this state of affairs to the unlawful possession of military uniforms and equipment by unauthorised persons and organisations.

It has therefore warned the public that "it is an offence for anyone to sell or buy country."

Any person who contravened the law (NCLD 177) commits a criminal offence and will face the full rigours of the law.

The law reminded members of the Armed Forces of Ghana that "the misuse and or misapplication of military uniforms and or accoutrements is an offence punishable by military discipline."

Replacement for Prof Boateng

The 90th meeting of the International Administrative and Finance Committee of the West African Examinations Council in Banjul decided to nominate a chairman from Nigeria to replace Professor E. A. Boateng of Ghana.

A release issued in Accra by the council said Professor Boateng's term of office expires in March this year.

The release said the meeting also discussed the appointment of the council's budget committee among member countries and the operation of the council's computer services which were crucial for processing and marking of examination papers.

It said the 43rd meeting of the Examinations Committee also held at the corporation. same venue deliberated on examination leakages in the November/December 1984 examinations and the Liberia 12th grade examinations.

Ex-Adansihene before tribunal

Nana Kwantwi Barima II, ex-Adansihene and five other chiefs in the Adansi Traditional Area appeared before the any military uniform and equipment in the Public Tribunal in Kumasi on charges of illegal collection of Stool land revenue and conspiracy to steal and stealing €26,582 belonging to the Lands Department.

The five others are Nana Asare-bediako II, Akrokerrihene, Nana Kwesi Buabeng II, Dompoasehene, Nana Kojo Kyere Ababio, Bodweasanyohene, Nana Apianim Kwaframua III, Ayasihene and Nana Okai Ababio, Akrofuohene.

They pleaded not guilty and were granted C15,000 bail each.

Prosecuting, Chief Inspector Elizabeth Adzoho, told the Tribunal that between August, 1981 and April, 1982, the accused persons, without informing the Lands Department, printed illegal receipt books with which they collected C26,582 from farmers in their respective areas.

Joint mining company with Libya

A new mining company, Ghana-Libya Mining Company, is currently operating at Bibiani in the Sehwi district of the Western US Mills. Region. According to the 'Graphic' an agreement to this effect has already be signed with the state gold mining corp

Under the agreement, the company been granted rights to undertake surf mining only at Bibiani. This was made known by Mr Yiadom Boakye, a la officer, at a meeting with the Sel Anhwiaso Omanhene Nana Kwakye Se and the Nkowiahene Nana Twum Beri Apaw, to discuss issues relating to revival of mining activities at Bibiani.

New VALCO agreement

The government has signed an agreement with the Volta Aluminum company (VALCO).

It replaces the old master-agreem which VALCO, a company owned by Kaiser Aluminium and Chemi Corporation (KACC) and Reynolds Me Company reached with Ghana in the First Republic in 1962.

The PNDC Coordinating Secretary, P. V. Obeng, signed for the Ghana Government whilst Mr John D. Mill, Managing Director of VALCO, signed for his company.

The signing of the agreement brings effect changes in the arrangements under which VALCO operates its aluminium smelter in Tema.

The changes include 20 per reduction in the amount of energy VAI is entitled to take from the Akosombo Hydro-Electric Plant.

In addition, the base power rate, th the amount paid by VALCO for kilowatt per hour of energy, previous standing at 5 US Mills has been raised

Besides these changes, VALCO's income tax rate, previously fixed at 40 per cent, is now 60 per cent and dividends paid to its shareholders as well as interest and its loans have, for the first time, become subject to tax.

The Tolling Fee, that is the amount. received by VALCO as fees for its services to its customers has been increased from 60 per cent of the list price to 68 per cent of the IME price of aluminium for the next four years and it is also liable to tax.

Report on false passports

The National Investigations Committee (NIC) has submitted a report to the PNDC Secretariat revealing that false passports and visas are being used to create the impression that the owners are entitled to certain concessions.

Three such cases have so far been uncovered.

Passport No. 316267 dates December 14, 1981, in the name of Victor Kwabena Edem and Passport No. 167209, in the name of Isaac Oppong, both bear visas apparently issued by the Embassy of Italy in Dakar, Senegal. The Italian Embassy in Accra reports that the visas are forged. Passport No. 270611, in the name of Janet Ösi and issued on December 13, 1979,has been found to be forged.

These documents were used in attempts to clear three cars unlawfully, a VW Beetle,a Datsun Violet and a Renault 16TL. The NIC has placed the cars in the custody of the Confiscated Vehicles Unit, and has recommended that they be confiscated to the state.

PNDC bags 1.5m cedis

Another NIC report says that a total of €1,682,500 was paid into PNDC Account No. 48 on December 21, 1984, following investigations by the National Investigations committee into the unauthorised importation of specified commodities by Kludjeson International Limited of Accra.

Seven hundred thousand cedis out of the total amount represented reparation offered jointly and severally by Prince Kofi Kludjeson, Managing Director of Kludjeson International Limited, Mrs Eunice Amoo and Samir Yamak.

A further C982,500 represented the proceeds of illegal sales of 100 bags of sugar and the cost of 275 bags of sugar which should have been forfeited to the state but which were not recovered.

The Chellaram Case

A third case involved the activities of Kaycee (Bermuda) Ltd, Kingsley Glah and Company Ltd, and K. Chellaram & Sons (Ghana) Ltd, all shareholders in Volta Nylon Company Ltd.

K. Chellaram & Sons (Ghana) Ltd, imported machinery valued at US 159,057.24 dollars, and paid in cedis to the Bank of Ghana. Chellaram had earlier applied to transfer dividends of C244,560.00 to Kaycee (Bermuda) Ltd with the intention of using this money, once outside Ghana, as external currency to pay for the machinery. However, no approval was given, and the Bank of Ghana was them. committed to provide the foreign exchange.

The NIC has recommended that Kaycee ambassadorial role by being decent (Bermuda) Ltd, should refund to the Bank appearance and polite to their passengers of Ghana the US $159,057.24 in foreign since they are among the first group of exchange and until this is done, no approval should be given for the transfer of dividends by K. Chellaram & Sons (Ghana) Ltd to Kaycee (Bermuda) Ltd the statement said.

Lessons from Ashanti history

Professor Albert Adu Boahen, head of the History Department, University of Ghana, said in Kumasi that the Ashanti Confederacy should remind Ghanaians of the need to unite and work harder towards the development of the nation.

He noted that Ashanti unity brought much good to Ashantis and that was the lesson that the Ashanti Confederacy had to offer Ghanaians.

Professor Adu Boahen was speaking at a symposium at the National Cultural Centre on "Asante, Past, Present and Future" as part of the golden jubilee celebrations of the restoration of Asanteman.

He explained why the British exiled Nana Osei Agyeman Prempeh I, Asantehene, to Seychelles and why they eventually brought him back. According to the professor, by 1750, the Ashanti empire was larger than the present landscape of Ghana. The professor said by 1935, the British felt that unity existed in Ashanti so they decided to restore the Ashanti Confederacy.

Mr Kofi Sackey, a legal practitioner, said the Ashanti Confederacy was not so easily achieved, it was an eventual process adding that after the wars of conquests, Ashantis used their wisdom to help in the development of their area.

Be vigilant on drivers

The Acting Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Mr George I Mannah, has asked the public to be vigilant and check drivers who cheat them. Mr Mannah was opening a two-day seminar in Accra organised by the national secretariat of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union for 90 drivers drawn from 33 branches of the union. He advised the drivers to show decency and honesty and be fair to passengers at all times.

Mr Mannah said drivers would always be blamed for the high cost of foodstuff if they continued to charge high freights. He warned them against aiding smugglers.

Don't cheat foreigners

Taxi and other commercial drivers have been cautioned not to take advantage of the influx of foreigners to the forthcoming Wood and Furniture Fair (GIFEX 85) and dictate their own fares ostensibly to cheat them.

They have also been advised to play an ambassadorial role by being decent in appearance and polite to their passengers since they are among the first group of Ghanaians the visitors will come into contact with. Mr E. Owusu Boakye, commanding officer of the Motor Traffic Unit (MTU) gave the advice at the annual general meeting of the Ayawaso Taxi Drivers Cooperative Society at Kotobabi.

Rodents destroy farms

Seventeen farming communities in the Akwamu Traditional Area in the Eastern Region have had their maize and cassava farms cultivated this lean season destroyed by rodents. The farmers have therefore appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture to intensify its research work into plants and crops with the view to providing appropriate chemicals that will help contain the rodents.

This was disclosed at an emergency general meeting of the Akwamu Anum Boso District Council at Atimpoku by Mr Kofi Appiah, secretary of the Akwamu Traditional Council. He said in spite of applications of rodicides by the farmers, their crops were still being destroyed by the rodents which appeared immune to the chemicals.

Advice to Swiss banks

A member of the PNDC, Mrs Susan Alhassan has said that it was about time Swiss banks adopted stringent measures that would make it impossible for crooks in developing nations to operate with them..

If this was done, she noted, the economy of developing countries would improve and the need for charity would be greatly reduced, if not completely eliminated Mrs Alhassan was speaking to the head of two Swiss philanthropic organisations, Mr Edmund Kaiser, who called on her at State House office in Accra

Replying, Mr Kaiser said very little nothing at all could be done a situation since Swiss banks were secretive" and with very tight security


Kuwait Development Fund loan

A loan of 3bn CFA francs to the Republic of Came Development Fund to on the second phase of the hydroelectric project The loan agreement was signed by the Kuwait Minister of Economics and and Finance. . and Cameroon's Minister of State in charge of planning and regional development, Mr Youssoufa Daouda. The total cost of the project is estimated at 42.5bn CFA francs and over 8% of the cost is financed by the Kuwaiti Development fund.


Withdrawal of French experts

The third session of the Gabon-France ad hoc committee has taken place in Libreville. Gabonese and French experts came to an agreement on the gradual reduction of the number of French technical assistants in Gabon.

Looting of Lebanese shops

There has been some pillaging of Lebanese shops and some Lebanese traders have kept their shops shut since President Omar Bongo made a strong attack on foreigners, particularly Lebanese traders, and prostitutes, on 25th January.

Reliable sources in the capital said acts of vandalism against Lebanese shops in the commercial district of Mont Bouet broke out less than 24 hours after Mr Bongo's speech. According to the Lebanese embassy the Lebanese community in Gabon numbers only 600 out of a total Gabonese population officially estimated at 1m.

Analysts said the high profile of the Lebanese community in the country's commerce and reports of corruption involving wealthy Lebanese businessmen and Gabonese Government officials apparently provoked the attack by Mr Bongo.


Arrest suspended party's agents

The authorities have arrested an unspecified number of people in the north of the country for allegedly distributing leaflets on behalf of the suspended Opposition United People's Party (UPP). The UPP, headed by former Foreign Minister Gabriel Baccus Matthews, was suspended three weeks ago by the elections commission, which charged the party with distributing leaflets explaining its aims and recruitment policies before being officially registered with the courts.

Mr Matthews has denied the UPP violated election guidelines and argued that "the public has the right to know any association before assuming membership."

The UPP has asked the elections commission to lift the ban on its activities and accused the body of taking too much time to resolve the suspension issue.

Attempt to burn down Sawyer's residence

The Chairman of the (Liberian) People's Party (UPP) has written separate letters to the Minister of Justice and director of the Criminal Investigation division asking for protection and investigation after a group of unidentified persons attempted to burn down his residence on 3rd February.

In a letter to Justice Minister Jenkins Scott, Dr Sawyer said: Given the fact that I am chairman of the organising committee of a proposed political party, in addition to the fact that I am a Liberian citizen, I bring this matter to your attention so that the full implications of this act can be fully appreciated and all due measures taken to secure protection for me and for my family.

A similar letter was sent to CID director. A group of unidentified persons poured gallons of gasoline around Dr Amos Sawyer's house early that day starting a fire.

Call for genuine democratic process

Liberian People's Party (LPP) Chairman, Prof Amos Sawyer, has warned that the Liberian people "do not want guided, but selective or martial democracy,' anticipate a return to civilian rule through a "genuine democratic process", the independent 'Footprints Today' newspaper has reported..

The paper said Prof Sawyer made the statement to the Special Election Commission when he presented his partisan list of 3,000 members for probation as a political entity to canvass to the October general elections that are to return Liberia to civil rule, ending five years of military rule, in January 1986.

Prof Sawyer warned that any attempt to "divert from the multiparty democractic system will be totally contrary to the will and desire of our people and will therefore be considered an unpatriotic course". Mr Sawyer who chaired the commission that wrote the new constitution said the question now being raised among the public "is not who would be President in the Second Republic but whether a democratic process would be allowed to take its course"


Buhari promises return to civil rule

Head of State, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari has given his indication to return the country to a civilian constitutional government.

In a 'Financial Times' report of Monday, February 4, Gen Buhari is quoted to have said that the return to civilian rule will be preceded by a referendum to choose an appropriate political system.

He however cautioned that civilian rule would come "after three very tough years.'" He added that they had no time-table in mind for political reforms and stressed that economic reform was the military government's priority.

Decrees and democratic norms

A judge of the Supreme Court, Mr Justice Kayode Eso, has stated that any military government has absolute legislative power.

In a lecture he delivered at the University of Benin at the first 'Justice Idigbe Memorial Lecture' Justice Eso stated that no military government ever claims to champion the ideals of what the political scientist defines as democracy and that it was therefore wrong to judge military decrees by democratic norms.

Justice Eso pointed out that the military government as established in Nigeria on January 1, 1984 was declared to possess absolute legislative powers, and that whatever remained of the 1979 constitution what was permitted by that government.

He stated that the law which is to be administered by the courts is primarily the business of the legislator and not the 'concern of the judge' pointing out that a military revolution meant an abrogation of the existing legal order and a substitution of military authoritarianism.'

Defending the decrees issued since January 1, 1984 by the present military government in Nigeria, the Supreme Court Judge said it should be borne in mind by everyone that they were meant: "to repair the ravages caused by political warfare between the rival political parties, the rehabilitation of the economy which has been so shamelessly devastated by the political rulers, punishment of corruption which had no doubt gone to unprecedented heights.

Civil servants to pay phone bills

Ogun government has directed that civil servants in the state would be responsible for settling telephone bills in their offices with effect from March 1.

A statement signed by the press secretary to the governor, Chief Soniran Sowemimo said the measure became necessary because of the huge expenses the government was incurring on telephone services.

Rejection of coins

The Kwara State Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji A. I. Jimoh has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria to start thinking of what to do with some of the nation's coins which had been illegally phased out.

Such coins, according to him, include the 25 kobo, one kobo, half kobo and partially five kobo.

Alhaji Jimbh told the 'Sunday Herald that the coins, though legal tender, wer being rejected in some parts of the country

talking drums 1985-02-11 open letter to rawlings